Diouf Has Supported Me Throughout My Career, In My Choices, Decisions- Drogba
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has paid a touching tribute to Ex-Marseille president Pape Diouf who died with the coronavirus in March.
The Senegalese worked as a journalist and football agent before taking the role of Marseille president between 2005 and 2009.
Drogba spent one season at the Stade Velodrome, scoring 32 goals during the 2003-04 campaign which included 11 strikes in 16 European outings, both the Champions League and Uefa Cup (now Europa League).
“Pape Diouf was my first agent and supported me throughout my career in my choices and my decisions,” Drogba told Canal+Afrique.
“He gave me advice on community life, advice regarding my coaches, when I was not happy with my situation and wanted things to change.
“I was young and fiery and he gave me reassuring words and above all made me question myself. I think that what I learned a lot from the Pope is this ability to question myself, to always go forward. And it was not a surprise to me that he became president of Olympique de Marseille, one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“Pope has always been a pioneer, he was the first great African agent on the world stage. He was always the first. And in addition to being competent, he is also a beautiful person.
“Unfortunately, this scourge today that is Covid-19, has come to prove to us that it attacks even the most beautiful people.
“Pape Diouf, my condolences to all your family, to everyone in football , at the Olympique de Marseille. Pope, forever in our hearts!.”
Drogba moved to Chelsea ahead of the 2004-05 season, playing a key role in the Blues landing their first league title in half a century and also establishing them as an English powerhouse.
The 42-year old Ivorian made a total of 381 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 164 goals and providing 86 assists.
He won a total of 14 titles at Stamford Bridge which are four Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields and one Champions League crown.
Drogba also played for Shanghai Shenhua in China, Galatasaray in Turkey as well as Montreal Impact and Phoenix Rising in Canada and the United States respectively